LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of police officers throughout Southern California and neighboring states hunted Thursday for a disgruntled former Los Angeles officer wanted for going on a deadly shooting rampage that he warned in an online posting would target those on the force who wronged him, authorities said.
Police issued a statewide “officer safety warning” and police were sent to protect people named in the posting that was believed to be written by the fired officer, Christopher Dorner, who has military training. Among those mentioned were members of the Los Angeles Police Department.
“I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty,” said the manifesto. It also asserted: “Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared. That’s what this is about, my name. A man is nothing without his name.”
Dorner has available multiple weapons including an assault rifle, said police Chief Charlie Beck, who urged Dorner to surrender. “Nobody else needs to die,” he said.
More than 40 protection details were assigned to possible targets of Dorner. Police spokesman Cmdr. Andrew Smith said he couldn’t remember a larger manhunt by the department.
The hunt spread from California to Nevada, Arizona and Mexico, said a U.S. Marshals Service official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to publicly comment.
A report of a burned pickup truck near the Big Bear ski area came under investigation. TV news helicopters showed a rifle-equipped team being delivered to the area in the San Bernardino Mountains. San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Zach Beckum said the pickup fire was being investigated but there has been no sighting of Dorner. Beckum said local school officials decided to lock down the schools.
The search for Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for making false statements, began after he was linked to a weekend killing in which one of the victims was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during the disciplinary hearing. Authorities believe Dorner opened fire early Thursday on police in cities east of Los Angeles, killing an officer and wounding another.
Beck detailed Dorner’s alleged crimes in an unusual press conference in an underground room at police headquarters, where extra security was deployed. The chief said there had been a “night of extreme tragedy in the Los Angeles area” and that all measures were being implemented to ensure officer safety.
Police said Dorner, 33, implicated himself in the couple’s killings with the multi-page “manifesto.”
A Facebook post believed written by Dorner said he knew he would be vilified by the LAPD and the news media, but that “unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name.”
Los Angeles police believe the manifesto posted to Facebook was written by Dorner because there are details in it only he would know.
As police searched for him, the packed Los Angeles area was on edge. The nearly 10,000-member LAPD dispatched many of its officers to protect potential targets. The department also pulled officers from motorcycle duty, fearing they would make for easy targets.
In San Diego, where Dorner allegedly tied up an elderly man and unsuccessfully tried to steal his boat Wednesday night, Naval Base Point Loma was locked down Thursday after a Navy worker reported seeing someone who resembled Dorner.
Navy Cmdr. Brad Fagan said officials don’t believe he was on base Thursday but had checked into a base hotel on Tuesday and left the next day without checking out. Numerous agencies guarded the base.
Fagan said Dorner was honorably discharged and that his last day in the Navy was last Friday.
Nevada authorities also looked for Dorner because he owns a house nine miles from the Las Vegas Strip, according to authorities and court records.
Authorities said the U.S. Navy reservist may be driving a dark colored 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck.